Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Judy in the sky with Air Miles
Colin Craig at the Canadian Taxpayers Federation just put out a press release demanding to know how mayoral candidate Judy Wasylycia-Leis spent more than $2 million in the last decade as an MP.
I absolutely agree with my favourite taxpayer that Ottawa needs to do a better job detailing how MPs spend their fairly sizeable budgets. What they release now is so general as to be useless. It’s big aggregates like "printing" and "office lease" rather than the kind of embarrassing specifics that tubed the careers of many British MPs recently.
Having said that, I don’t think $2 million over a decade is excessive, especially when it includes staff salaries and travel to and from Ottawa.
And, just last week I was at a conference about fetal alcohol spectrum disorder where a Winnipeg teacher noted that Judy quietly donated some of her Air Miles so a student with FASD could accept a big achievement award in Seattle.
So, not exactly on par with moat-cleaning, I’d bet. But only full and detailed disclosure – for all MPs – will tell for sure.
About Mary Agnes Welch
Mary Agnes Welch joined the Free Press in 2002, first as a general assignment reporter and then covering city hall and the Manitoba legislature before moving to her current post as public policy reporter.
Before Winnipeg, she worked at the Windsor Star and the Odessa American, a small daily newspaper in West Texas. There, in addition to covering more than 20 counties, she took high school football scores from coaches all over West Texas by phone every Friday night.
Mary Agnes is a graduate of Columbia University’s journalism school, has won several Western Ontario Newspaper Awards and has been part of two teams of reporters nominated for a Michener Award. In 2011, she was nominated for a National Newspaper Award in the beat category. She is also the former national president of the Canadian Association of Journalists.
She once misspelled "Shih Tzu" in the paper and received 37 emails from angry dog-owners.
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